How To Stay Focused When Your Parents Don’t Share Your Ideas


Imagine this scenario – you want to study music, but your parents want you to study a “more reliable profession” like accounting or computing. You actually enjoy music and you are thinking anything else just doesn’t grab you. Your parents have other ideas, because they love you and only want the best for you (and they do!).
Or you might be in Year 10 and thinking about your subjects for the HSC. Your selections make sense to you because you have chosen subjects you like, but your parents pressure you to change some of them because they think they will not help you get a good score.
What about staying out late, who you choose for a boyfriend/girlfriend, piercings, or tattoos?
You know they will not like your point of view. So how do you keep your values but prevent things from becoming a shouting match? Here’s some food for thought:

1. You have a pretty good idea of what you like and what you are good at.
2. Sorting out your point of view – check out the facts and work out why it’s so important to you.
3. Do you have all the information you need to make your decisions? Is there anyone else you need to speak to?
4. The calmer you stay, the more confident and believable you will sound
5. Parents have experience behind them and they might have some useful thoughts to consider.
6. Listen to your parent’s point of view and try to find the positive things from them. If you can show you are trying to hear them, they are much more likely to accept your point of view.
7. You don’t have to agree with everything your parents say, even if sometimes you need to do what they want you to do. You can show you understand what they are saying, but still hold your point of view. Trust me – as an adult you will continue to face these challenges, so it’s good experiencing it now.
8. If you need more time to think about what you have heard – you can say just that – “I need more time.”
9. Finally, trust is a really important factor. If you can show you are responsible, reliable and can accept when you make mistakes, you will develop a much better relationship with your parents. It will create trust between you both and when you really need to stand your ground, it will be so much easier.

These are my thoughts, and I hope this has been helpful. How do you hold your view and keep the peace? Next time I will look at what to do when you can’t keep the peace.


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